On Wednesday, the winners of the 2019 Boston Globe – Horn Book Awards were announced at SLJ’s Day of Dialog. Given in three categories, Picture Book, Fiction and Poetry, and Nonfiction, each category has a winner and two honor books. Here are the winning titles:
PICTURE BOOK WINNER
The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke; illustrated by Van Thanh Rudd
FICTION AND POETRY WINNER
The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon
This Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equality by Jo Ann Allen Boyce and Debbie Levy
PICTURE BOOK HONORS
Dreamers written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales
We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga written by Traci Sorell; illustrated by Frané Lessac
FICTION AND POETRY HONORS
Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
Hey, Kiddo written and illustrated by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born written by Miranda Paul; illustrated by Jason Chin
Ojiichan’s Gift by Chieri Uegaki, illustrated by Genevieve Simms (9781771389631)
When Mayumi was born, her grandfather who lived in Japan built her a garden. It was a garden without tulips or flowers. Instead it was a garden of stones of all sizes. Around the edge, the garden had bushes and trees as well as a space for Mayumi to have a meal with her grandfather. As Mayumi grew up, she learned more and more about taking care of her garden alongside her grandfather. But then one summer, her grandfather could not care for his home or the garden anymore. When they arrived, the house was dusty and the garden was overgrown. Her grandfather had to use a wheelchair now. Mayumi is very angry and takes her anger out on the rocks of the garden, trying to topple the largest over. When she is unable to tip it over, she kicks the smaller rocks around. As her anger subsides, she rakes the garden back into order again and has an inspiration of what she can do to help both herself and her grandfather with this transition.
Uegaki was inspired to write this book by her own father who was a traditional Japanese landscaper and gardener. She captures with nicely chosen details the essence of a Japanese rock garden with its order, natural elements and upkeep. She also shows how a garden can create connections between in a long-distance relationship with a grandparent. She manages to have a strong point of view without being didactic at all, instead allowing the reader and Mayumi to experience the results of the garden without extra commentary.
The illustrations by Simms add to the understanding of the Japanese garden. Done in beautiful details, they offer images of the rocks, the moss, the gravel, and all of the elements. Using different perspectives for her images, she shows views from alongside the garden as well as from above. The same is true of the grandfather’s house as views change from outside looking in to the reverse.
A charming look at the connections between grandfather and granddaughter built through a garden. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by Kids Can Press.